Sandra Soli

We the Proletarians

Nothing changed for us yesterday.
Nothing changed the day before that.
Nothing changed when you hired gospel
choirs. Out with corruption. Out with the liars.
Garble garble garble, you all sound the same.
On the campaign trail, you’re shaking hands
with the Carefully Selected, selling yourself
by using lovely brown people, charming Asians,
old poets too. We know we know we know you.
We do.
             We are proletarians, the workers, lowly
ones with garlic on our hands, who pick up extra
shifts in the back of the house. Carouse with cigars
in your marble-floored, legislative hallways, while
the rest of us trip sideways, makin’ no headways.
You can kiss ass and kick ass, make deals with the mighty,
we’ll park your wheels nightly for two dollar tips.
                                                    That man on a ledge,
why does he look up in this gray morning sky?
It’s raining on him like it rained yesterday when
nothing changed. And nothing changed the day before—
but we proletarians, we keep on keeping on. Mister,
did you hear the Candidate speak justice? See him wink
at your sister? Don’t blink, buddy; for godsake, don’t fall.
Push the man’s wheelbarrow: manure for his garden,
granite rocks for his pool. He’s running for office.
Things could change. That’s cool.